Monday, December 21, 2015

DIY 2016 Calendar Gift

As I racked my brain for another Christmas gift the children could make their parents, I went over all the cute gifts we've made in the past.  Many ornaments, cute pictures and plenty of glitter crossed my mind.  When the idea finally came to me I knew exactly what to do!

I found an amazing website that I want to share with you!  Have you been to Twinkl?  I find myself on their site at least twice a week.  Not just for school, but for home, too!  Twinkl is a place of unique, teacher created planning materials and teaching resources.  I don't use worksheets in school and I still use this site so much! One of my most favorite things about Twinkl is their graphics.  They are consistent with all their materials and are simply perfect for children to recognize and relate to. I could go on and on about all the wonderful resources there are, but it would take way too long.  Have a look!  I have a few more posts to give you some ideas on how you can use them either in your home or classroom.

On with this one!
I printed off this simple calendar from Twinkl.  I had taken some pictures of the kids earlier in the week to put in the center.  I also glued the print onto some heavy tag board.  Next up, decorate!

We used Kwik Stix, but any type of medium would work.  Markers, pastels, watercolors, crayons, colored pencils, tempera paints...etc.  I also gave them a pile of sequins and glue.  So sparkly!

We also added a bit of rick rack so families can hang them up.  Here is the one my son made, all hung up and proud.  (He couldn't wait until Christmas to give us his present...even though I already knew what it was.)  :)

Twinkl would also make a perfect gift this season!  

Twinkl Educational Publishing

*I received a 6 month membership to Twinkl in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and property of Getting Messy With Ms. Jessi.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Milk Carton Gingerbread House {& Giveaway!}

Aww...milk cartons.  Such a magical recycled item.  We decided to make our large supply (thanks, Ms. Caitlin!) of cartons into Gingerbread houses.  They turned out to be such an adorable decoration!

I was also excited to use a brand new (to me, anyways) art medium, paint sticks.  They are AMAZING! Kwik Stix makes a solid tempera paint.  Think of a glue stick, but smooth paint instead.  Heaven!  So many cool things about them.

  • Dry in 90 seconds
  • leaves a vibrant color
  • can be applied to so many surfaces
  • easy for little fingers to use
  • doesn't crack
  • no need for brushes, cups or extra painting materials    
Sometimes even this messy gal likes an easy, mess free project day!  Below we used Kwik Stix to make gingerbread houses, but we've used them with so many other things!  I'm kind of smitten.                                                                                                                    

How we made our (simple) gingerbread houses:

Milk Carton
Brown acrylic paint
Poster board
Hot Glue
Kwik Stix (or other paints)

I painted the cartons first with acrylic paint.  It goes on well enough, but depending on how much coverage you want, 2 coats are best. You can see the difference!

After these dry I put on a little roof.  Simply hot glued a folded piece of poster board.

Then I let the kids have a go at decorating!

You can find Kwik Stix on:
The Pencil Grip website

Here is the low down on the giveaway:
  1. Winners from USA only
  2. Must be 18 years of age
  3. Winner will be notified by me within 48 hours at the end of the giveaway
  4. If said winner does not notify me within 24 hours a new winner will be chosen
  5. The Pencil Grip will be sending you your winning prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I did not receive compensation for this post.  The Pencil Grip sent me a 12 pack of Kwik Stix to test and review.  All opinions are my own and property of Getting Messy With Ms. Jessi.

Friday, November 13, 2015

America Recycles Day!

Did you know that America Recycles Day is on November 15th?  If you've been a follower of mine for awhile, you know how much I try to promote recycling items into new ways.  It's a part of my teaching philosophy as well as my life and family philosophy.  Why waste?  Because it's easier?  Because we are lazy?  Because there aren't enough resources around?  The answer shouldn't be any of those, but sadly it's sad too many times.  I'm really trying to educate children into the importance of reusing so that they won't need to use any of those excuses not to recycle or reuse!

A company called Cotopaxi has this super cool info graphic that I wanted to share with you. Below you will see a super cool idea on how to recycle old clothes into NEW LIFE!  I especially love the electronic device case.  That would make an awesome homemade gift for someone!

If you've never heard of Cotopaxi, you should really give them a look see.  They have some fantastic backpacks made of re-purposed materials!  I love a company that helps others and the environment.

And in case you want some more ideas about how we reuse in our classroom check out a few:

**I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just really love companies that share my philosophy.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin Necklace

I had the children make 2 quick pumpkin necklaces.  Both are very quick!  I try really hard to find supplies I already have on hand (which frankly, is too much) and buy very little.  You'd be surprised what you can come up with if you just look around your cabinets.  It's even easier if you're only looking for one or two children, not a whole classroom supply! :)

Marshmallow Pumpkin Necklace #1

Materials: Craft Marshmallows (I found these in our shed, but I've seen them at craft stores and Amazon)
Hot Glue

Paint and let it dry. Usually doesn't take more than a few hours.  If you are in a rush and are able, put it out in the sun!

After it dries use something with a firm point to make a hole near the top.  I used a nail.  Put a dot of hot glue inside and push your string (open sides) into the hole.  Then put a bit more hot glue on top and put a bead on top to secure. I also tied a knot, but I'm sure it's not necessary.  

You can leave it as is or draw a jack o lantern face.  This is a picture of my son (hubby sent this to me while I was at work) proudly wearing his!

Spool Pumpkin Necklace #2

Paint or Construction Paper
Hot Glue

Depending on your spool you can either paint it (if it's a plastic spool use acrylic paint) or wrap it with construction paper.

When you are ready to string it tie a large knot in the yarn and then hot glue it to the middle of the spool.  See the top?  Or you could pull it all the way through to the bottom.

Again, leave it as is or draw a face!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Need more Halloween Ideas?  Check these out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oil Pastel Fall Leaves

So, we live in the desert.  We don't get the beautiful fall leaves that everyone is gushing about.  We can see them if we drive 2 hours north into the mountains.  But, here in the valley we have blooming cacti, trees that rarely turn colors and rock landscaping.  It's beautiful in it's own way.  I have a tree in my front yard with decent sized leaves.  They do turn a beautiful February.  Then less than a month later blooms.  Crazy desert life.

I've seen so many talented bloggers/artists decorate leaves with paints, chalk markers and gel pens resulting in beautiful art.  We first tried painting our leaves.  After it dried the color blended into the leaves and flaked off.  Ugh.  Back to my art supplies.  Chalk didn't work ( I guess my leaves are too waxy).  Then I tried one of my most favorite mediums, oil pastels.  Oh!  Did it turn out lovely!

Since fall leaves don't come to us, we were just going to bring it ourselves!  I set out fall colors and a pile of leaves.  We then discovered if you rubbed the pastel on its side it would reveal all the veins in the in the leaf! Hello science lesson!!

I didn't want to let these beauties dry out, so I laminated them.  So far, after about 6 days they are still looking vibrant!  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wipe and Resist Leaf Art

I was going to have my class do a simple art with watercolor and crayon.  But I was feeling lazy.  I already had tempera paints out from earlier and didn't feel like cleaning those brushes and getting out new ones....blah, blah, blah.

Then and idea hit me!  What if we used these paints over the crayon and then wiped off the paints?  By golly, it worked!  And it made some gorgeous art, too.

When we got down to doing the art project I actually used an oil pastel instead of crayon because it works much faster (remember I was feeling lazy).

After each child was finished painting, we took a paper towel and swiped the paint off.  It left a beautiful rainbow of colors behind!

We cut around the leaves and hung them around the room.  Bright and cheery fall!

You can do any type of picture and it works great!  I did a quick pumpkin, as well.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Felt Salad!

This past week in preschool we talked (a lot) about grocery stores and what we like to buy from them.  This led to discussions about healthy eating and better choices we need to make.  Especially trying new foods.

Here is a super cute "invitation to create" art activity we made.

 I gathered all my scrap felt, cut them into random shapes and then had the children help me sort them into strawberry baskets (my own personal favorite recycle material!). 

The larger green pieces led the children to lettuce and the smaller pieces became the toppings.  Using "gooey glue" we smothered the felt layer by layer until they deemed their salad "delicious"!

When the children were finished, I had them drizzle dressing (more glue) over the salad.  This extra glue helps set any loose felt pieces.